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CruiseGuide 2011


 

 
 
 

 

Family Cruise Vacations

Bringing your family on a cruise vacation is a great way to bond while seeing the world together. And with all the activities available aboard modern cruise ships, keeping your family members happily occupied won't be a problem.

 

We all look forward to having a family vacation at least once a year. But getting the family to all agree on the best holiday option can be a near-impossible feat. If you decide to visit one destination only and book a resort, that's great in one sense, because you don't have to make many arrangements. But, vacationing this way, you'll obviously miss out on on the chance to visit and experience multiple locations on one vacation.

 
 
Video: The 'Dreamworks Experience' on Royal Caribbean
 
   

If you decide to go on a tour of multiple locations by plane, car or train, you'll need to decide upon an itinerary, then, you have to arrange for travel tickets to each of the places, followed by hotel bookings. At each destination, you'll likely need to travel together when visiting each attraction. So if you and your spouse are looking forward to a night of dancing, while your kids have been wowed by the local video arcade, you've got a dilemma that's not easily solved. Inevitably, one side of this argument is going to lose, and, in most cases, the losers will be you and your spouse. After all, it's not wise at all to leave your kids alone, in an unknown city, while you're having 'date night' while you're somewhere across town. What to do?

A cruise vacation eliminates much of this hassle by giving your family a multitude of activities, and multiple destinations to visit, with pretty much everything having been taken care of for you. You'll get to choose from a long list of itineraries, cruise lines and different packages to fit your specific taste and budget. In fact, your biggest 'chore' will be sifting through the stack of available cruise line and destination options.

 

Once you've narrowed your choices, you can either either book your tickets directly with the cruise line, or task your favorite travel agent with doing so. Your accommodations on the cruise, dining (alcoholic drinks are generally not included), sightseeing and most activities onboard are all included in the package.

 
   
   

You'll be visiting a number of new destinations and going on shore excursions organized by the cruise line. You can usually choose from a wide array of excursion options for the shore trip that best fits your taste. You'll likely find trips visiting historic places, locations featuring some of the best natural scenery the port has to offer, such as beach visits or train rides through mountain country, and even 'eco-tour' types of excursions, where you may find yourself zip lining through jungle canopy, or exploring the deepest reaches of a cave once used for ancient Mayan rituals.

Even on days at sea there's plenty to keep your family entertained, and you don't have the typical dilemma of wondering if you should spend the night entertaining the kids, or entertaining yourself. There are various 'kids camps' that accomodate children of different ages, from small children all the way through to older teens. These camps feature a variety of activities for your kids, both in the actual camp area, and even at various other locations around the ship.

For your older children, you may also find video game arcades, rollerblading tracks, ice skating rinks, rock climbing walls and water parks to name a few options. So if you can tear yourself away from the waterslide, you won't have trouble keeping your kids occupied while you and your spouse hit the dance floor.

Speaking of adult activities, you'll likely also find amenities such as a well-equipped gym, a spa, an adults-only pool area and more, where you can get in some 'couple time,' while knowing your kids are well-entertained and well taken care of. And best of all, they're only a short walk from you at any time.

 

During dining times, you've got enough options to satisfy everyone in the family. You can choose to dine together as a group, or go in separate directions to suit each person's taste. And because most all of the food is included in your cruise price, you don't have to worry about making sure the kids have enough money to eat. During the morning you could go as a group to the casual buffet for breakfast, eat as you go at one of the many locations featuring lunch items, then join as a family again in the evening for dinner in the formal dining room.

With a cruise, you can offer your family multiple vacation locations on one trip, while taking advantage of maximum flexibility on what activities you'll each get to enjoy. It's a great way to bond with your family through a shared adventure to distant places. And it's also the ultimate way to satisfy each of their individual tastes without losing your sanity.

 

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